Tuesday, March 31, 2020

PROVIDENCE by Max Barry - Giveaway

The Qwillery is thrilled to be giving away one copy of Max Barry's newest novel Providence which is published today by G P. Putnam's Sons. See below for how to enter!

G.P. Putnam's Sons, March 31, 2020
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages

From the ingenious author of Jennifer Government and Lexicon: a brilliant work of science fiction that tells the intimate tale of four people facing their most desperate hour–alone, together, at the edge of the universe.

The video changed everything. Before that, we could believe that we were safe. Special. Chosen. We thought the universe was a twinkling ocean of opportunity, waiting to be explored.

Afterward, we knew better.

Seven years after first contact, Providence Five launches. It is an enormous and deadly warship, built to protect humanity from its greatest ever threat. On board is a crew of just four–tasked with monitoring the ship and reporting the war’s progress to a mesmerized global audience by way of social media.

But while pursuing the enemy across space, Gilly, Talia, Anders, and Jackson confront the unthinkable: their communications are cut, their ship decreasingly trustworthy and effective. To survive, they must win a fight that is suddenly and terrifyingly real.

Listen to a sample of Providence

A Book Club Kit for download may be found here.

About Max

Photo: © Chris Hopkins
Max Barry is the author of numerous novels, including CompanyMachine Man, and Lexicon. He is also the developer of the online nation simulation game NationStates. Prior to his writing career, Barry worked at tech giant HP. He lives in Melbourne, Australia, with his wife and two daughters. To learn more, visit maxbarry.com or follow @MaxBarry on Twitter.

 Website  ~  Twitter @MaxBarry

The Giveaway

What:  One (1) Hardcover copy of Providence by Max Barry which has been provided by the publisher. US / CANADA ONLY

How:  Leave a comment below or email theqwillery . contests @ gmail.com [remove the spaces] with the subject line Providence. Emails will be deleted after the giveaway is over.

Who:  The giveaway is open to all humans on the planet earth with a United States or Canadian mailing address.

When:  The giveaway ends at 11:59 PM US Eastern Time on April 14, 2020. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules and duration are subject to change without any notice.*

Monday, March 30, 2020

The View From Monday - March 30, 2020

It's Monday! I hope everyone is staying well and safe. I'll have a giveaway starting tomorrow for one of the books in the release list below. Tune back in tomorrow!

There are no debuts this week.

From formerly featured DAC Authors:

Dayfall by Michael David Ares is out in Mass Market Paperback;


The Sisters Grimm by Menna van Praag.

Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.

Debut novels are highlighted in blue. Novels, etc. by formerly featured DAC Authors are highlighted in green.

March 31, 2020
Dayfall (h2mm) Michael David Ares SF/AP/PA
Science Fiction Rebels: The Story of the Science-Fiction Magazines from 1981 to 1990 (ri) Mike Ashley Liverpool Science Fiction Texts and Studies LUP 54
Providence Max Barry SF/Th/Dys
The Gobblin' Society James P. Blaylock SP
Road to Redemption Mike Brooks SF/AP/PA - Necromunda
The Stiehl Assassin (h2mm) Terry Brooks F - The Fall of Shannara 3
Sagas of the Space Wolves: The Omnibus Aaron Dembski-Bowden
David Annandale
Robbi MacNiven
Ben Counter
Nick Kyme
Andy Smillie
Cavan Scott
Mark Clapham
Lee Lightner
Alex Worley
SF - Warhammer 40,000
Lost and Wanted (h2tp) Nell Freudenberger Friendship/CW/GH - Vintage Contemporaries
Pariah (h2mm) W. Michael Gear SF/HSF/SO - Donovan 3
Ghoulslayer Darius Hinks F - Warhammer: Age of Sigmar
Anthropocene Rag Alex Irvine SF/AP/PA
Devoted Dean Koontz Sus/SupTh/H
Heralds of the Siege (ri) Nyke Kyme (Ed)
Laurie Goulding (Ed)
SF/SO - The Horus Heresy 52
Finder (h2mm) Suzanne Palmer SF/SO/AC - The Finder Chronicles 1
Voices of the Fall (h2mm) John Ringo (Ed)
Gary Poole (Ed)
SF - Black Tide Rising Anthology
The Master of Dreams (h2mm) Mike Resnick F/DF - The Dreamscape Trilogy 1
Mistborn Boxed Set I: Mistborn, The Well of Ascension, The Hero of Ages Brandon Sanderson F - Mistborn 1
Today I Am Carey (tp2mm) Martin L. Shoemaker SF/HSF
Baby Teeth (h2mm) Zoje Stage PsyTh/FL/H
Ruthless Sarah Tarkoff Dys - Eye of the Beholder 3
A Star-Wheeled Sky (tp2mm) Brad R. Torgersen SF
The Sisters Grimm Menna van Praag CF - The Sisters Grimm 1
Beastgrave C L Werner F - Warhammer: Age of Sigmar
Valdor: Birth of the Imperium Chris Wraight SF/SO - Horus Heresy
Thrawn: Treason (h2mm) Timothy Zahn SF/SO - Star Wars: Thrawn 3

D - Debut
e - eBook
Ed - Editor
h2mm - Hardcover to Mass Market Paperback
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
ri - reissue or reprint
tp2mm - Trade Paperback to Mass Market Paperback
Tr - Translator

AB - Absurdist
AC - Alien Contact
AH - Alternate History
AP - Apocalyptic
BlHu - Black Humour
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CL - City Life
CoA - Coming of Age
Cr - Crime
CW - Contemporary Women
CyP - Cyperpunk
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
Esp - Espionage
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
FL - Family Life
FolkT - Folk Tales
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
GH - Ghost(s)
H - Horror
HC - History and Criticism
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HistM - Historical Mystery
HSF - Hard Science Fiction
HU - Humorous
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legend and Mythology
NativeAm - Native American
MR - Magical Realism
MTI - Media Tie-In
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PerfArts - Performing Arts
PM - Paranormal Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
Psy - Psychological
PsyTh - Psychological Thriller
RF - Romantic Fantasy
SE - Space Exploration
SF - Science Fiction
SH - Superheroes
SmT - Small Town
SO - Space Opera
SP - Steampunk
Sup - Supernatural
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
TechTh - Technological Thriller
TerrTh - Terrorism Thriller
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy
VisM - Visionary and Metphysical

Note: Not all genres and formats are found in the books, etc. listed above.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Nintendo Download, March 26, 2020: Get Hooked on Arrr-cade Action With the Blue Sea Pirates

This week’s Nintendo Download includes the following featured content:

  • Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch
    • ONE PIECE: PIRATE WARRIORS 4 – ONE PIECE: PIRATE WARRIORS 4 is the latest evolution of PIRATE WARRIORS action! Choose from a range of popular characters and take on large numbers of enemies while fighting through the legendary world of ONE PIECE. Based on the concept of “experiencing a real ONE PIECE battlefield,” buildings will come crashing down during the action and attacks will throw up smoke and dust, placing you in the thick of the ONE PIECE world. By injecting fresh elements that couldn’t be achieved in previous entries, an even more thrilling brand of PIRATE WARRIORS action can now be experienced. ONE PIECE: PIRATE WARRIORS 4 will be available on March 27.

Nintendo eShop sales:

Also new this week in Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch:

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

2019 Aurealis Awards Finalists

The finalists for the 2019 Aurealis Awards have been announced.

The Aurealis Awards are for works of speculative fiction created by an Australian citizen or permanent resident, and published for the first time between January 1, 2019 and December 31, 2019.

2019 Aurealis Awards – Finalists

  • Scorch Dragons, Amie Kaufman (HarperCollins Publishers)
  • Race for the Red Dragon, Rebecca Lim (Allen & Unwin)
  • The Dog Runner, Bren MacDibble (Allen & Unwin)
  • Jinxed!: The Curious Curse of Cora Bell, Rebecca McRitchie (author) & Sharon O’Connor(illustrator) (HarperCollins Publishers)
  • The Glimme, Emily Rodda (Omnibus Books)
  • The Lost Stone of SkyCity, Heather Waugh (Fremantle Press)

  • Haphaven, Louie Joyce (Lion Forge)
  • Yahoo Creek, Tohby Riddle (Allen & Unwin)
  • Black Magick, Greg Rucka & Nicola Scott (Image Comics)
  • Super Nova, Krys Saclier (Ford Street Publishing)
  • Sherlock Bones and the Natural History Mystery, Renee Treml (Allen & Unwin)

  • The Jindabyne Secret, Jo Hart (Deadset Press)
  • Glass-Heart, K S Nikakis (SOV Media)
  • “Dragon by Subscription”, Tansy Rayner Roberts (Patreon, self-published)
  • “Seaweed”, Andrea Teare (Breach #11)
  • “Each City”, Ellen Van Neerven (Kindred: 12 Queer #LoveOZYA Stories, Walker Books Australia)
  • “Rats”, Marlee Jane Ward (Kindred: 12 Queer #LoveOZYA Stories, Walker Books Australia)

  • “Loose Stones”, Joanne Anderton (Infinite Threads, Brio Books)
  • “The Mark”, Grace Chan (Verge 2019: Uncanny, Monash University Publishing)
  • “Pilgrimage”, Matthew R Davis (Breach #10)
  • “The Unwrapping”, Terry Dowling (Echoes)
  • “Of Meat and Man”, Jason Fischer (SNAFU: Last Stand, Cohesion Press)
  • “Vivienne and Agnes”, Chris Mason (Beside the Seaside – Tales from the Day Tripper)
  • “The Moth Tapes”, J Ashley Smith (Aurealis #117, Chimaera Publications)

  • “Yellowheart”, Alan Baxter (Served Cold, Grey Matter Press)
  • “Supermassive Black Mass”, Matthew R Davis (Short Sharp Shocks! #21)
  • “Into Bones Like Oil”, Kaaron Warren (Into Bones Like Oil, Meerkat Press)

  • “Loose Stones”, Joanne Anderton (Infinite Threads, Brio Books)
  • “1078 Reasons”, Aidan Doyle (Translunar Travelers Lounge, Issue 1)
  • “Pigshit and Gold”, Aiki Flinthart (Dimension6 #18, coeur de lion)
  • “CurioQueens”, Ephiny Gale (Constellary Tales Magazine #4)
  • “Good Dog, Alice”, Juliet Marillier (Wonderland, Titan Books)
  • “Dragon by Subscription”, Tansy Rayner Roberts (Patreon, self-published)

  • “Like Ripples on a Blank Shore”, J S Breukelaar (Collision: Stories, Meerkat Press)
  • “The Orchard”, Ephiny Gale (Andromeda Spaceways Magazine #76)
  • “Out of Darkness“, Chris Mason (Tales of the Lost, Things in the Well)
  • “‘Scapes Made Diamond”, Shauna O’Meara (Interzone 280)
  • “To Hell and Back”, Michael Pryor (Aurealis #120, Chimaera Publications)
  • “The Final Prologue”, Christopher Sequeira (Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Was Not, IFWG Publishing Australia)

  • “Sky Tears”, Mike Adamson (Alien Dimensions #17, Maldek House)
  • “Wreck Diving”, Joanne Anderton (Aurealis #123, Chimaera Publications)
  • “Riding the Snails”, Jason Fischer (War of the Worlds: Battleground Australia, Clan Destine Press)
  • “Canute”, RPL Johnson (SNAFU: Last Stand, Cohesion Press
  • “What We Named the Needle”, Freya Marske (Analog Science Fiction and Fact, Issue Jul/Aug 2019, Penny Publications)
  • “Micro”, Angela Meyer (Kill Your Darlings, Speculative Fiction and Fantasy Showcase 2019)

  • “Ventiforms”, Sean Monaghan (Asimov’s Science Fiction)
  • “‘Scapes Made Diamond”, Shauna O’Meara (Interzone 280)
  • “You Will Remember Who You Were”, Cat Sparks (Dimension6 #16)
  • Prisoncorp, Marlee Jane Ward (Seizure)

  • Collision: Stories, J S Breukelaar (Meerkat Press)
  • Blackbirds Sing, Aiki Flintoff (CAT Press)
  • Scar Tissue and Other Stories, Narrelle M Harris (Clan Destine Press)
  • Five Dragons, Pamela Jeffs (Four Ink Press)
  • Stray Bats, Margo Lanagan (Small Beer Press)
  • Men and Machines I: Space Operas and Special Ops, Charlie Nash (Flying Nun Publications)

  • Kindred: 12 Queer #LoveOzYA Stories, Michael Earp (Ed.) (Walker Books Australia)
  • Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Was Not, Christopher Sequeira (Ed.) (IFWG Publishing Australia)
  • The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume 13, Jonathan Strahan (Ed.) (Solaris)
  • Mission: Critical, Jonathan Strahan (Ed.) (Solaris)

  • The Darkest Bloom, P M Freestone (Scholastic)
  • Ghost Bird, Lisa Fuller (UQP)
  • Aurora Rising, Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff (Allen & Unwin)
  • Dev1at3, Jay Kristoff (Allen & Unwin)
  • The Harp of Kings, Juliet Marillier (Macmillan Australia)
  • I Heard The Wolf Call My Name, K S Nikakis (SOV Media)

  • Chuwa: The Rat People of Lahore, Brian Craddock (Broken Puppet Books)
  • Remains, Andrew Cull (IFWG Pub Aus)
  • A Riddle in Bronze, Simon Haynes (Bowman Press)
  • The Rich Man’s House, Andrew McGahan (Allen & Unwin)
  • Body Farm Z, Deborah Sheldon (Severed Press)

  • Angel Mage, Garth Nix (Allen & Unwin)
  • Darkdawn, Jay Kristoff (HarperCollins Publishers)
  • The Wailing Woman, Maria Lewis (Little, Brown Book Group)
  • The Harp of Kings, Juliet Marillier (Macmillan Australia)
  • The Darkest Bloom, P M Freestone (Scholastic)
  • Graveyard Shift in Ghost Town, Michael Pryor (Allen & Unwin)

  • The Subjects, Sarah Hopkins (Text Publishing)
  • Aurora Rising, Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff (Allen & Unwin)
  • The Trespassers, Meg Mundell (UQP)
  • The Year of the Fruit Cake, Gillian Polack (IFWG Publishing Australia)
  • The Glad Shout, Alice Robinson (Affirm Press)
  • Daughter of Bad Times, Rohan Wilson (Allen & Unwin)

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Chaos and Cosmos Campaign Launched by Tom Doherty Associates


New York, NY [March 24, 2020] – Tom Doherty Associates is proudly launching the Chaos and Cosmos campaign, featuring a twelve speculative fiction books by fan favorite authors and new voices from the Tor Books and Tor.com Publishing imprints.

2019 saw the release of multiple media properties that defied convention and made a name for themselves amongst the stars, from Parasite’s legendary Oscar sweep to Billie Eilish’ age-defying wins at the Grammys, and the record breaking close of the new Star Wars trilogy. In keeping with the fan demand for complex, nuanced content, Tom Doherty Associates is launching their Chaos and Cosmos campaign to run through the remainder of 2020.

Featured authors include Kit Rocha (Deal with the Devil), S.A. Hunt (I Come With Knives), Alaya Dawn Johnson (Trouble the Saints), Kate Elliott (Unconquerable Sun), Mary Robinette Kowal (The Relentless Moon), Ryan Van Loan (The Sin in the Steel), Jenn Lyons (The Memory of Souls), Andrea Hairston (Master of Poisons), Christopher Paolini (To Sleep in a Sea of Stars), S.L. Huang (Burning Roses), Cory Doctorow (Attack Surface), and V.E. Schwab (The Invisible Life of Addie La Rue). This illustrious group of writers includes bestsellers, award-winners, scholars, and influencers. Through this campaign, the authors will have a combined organic reach of nearly a million.

The Chaos and Cosmos campaign will include extensive outreach to social media influencers, a robust marketing and advertising campaign with outlets like Den of Geek, The Mary Sue, and Tor.com, exclusive content from select participating authors, and Chaos and Cosmos branded panels at conventions and events throughout the year. Fans can follow along with #ChaosAndCosmos.


Kit Rocha, author of Deal with the Devil
Kit Rocha is the pseudonym for the author duo Donna Herren (@totallydonna) and Bree Bridges (@mostlybree). They are best known for their gritty and sexy dystopian BEYOND series, and were the first indie authors to receive a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award. They currently live three miles apart in Alabama and spend their non-writing time caring for a menagerie of animals and crafting handmade jewelry, all of which is chronicled on their various social media accounts

S.A. Hunt, author of I Come With Knives
S. A. HUNT is a U.S. veteran, speculative fiction author, and Winner of Reddit.com/r/Fantasy's "Independent Novel of the Year" Award. They live in Petoskey, Michigan. Burn the Dark is the first volume in their Malus Domestica series, followed by the sequel I Come with Knives.

Alaya Dawn Johnson, author of Trouble the Saints
ALAYA DAWN JOHNSON has been recognized for her short fiction and YA novels, winning the 2015 Nebula Award for Best Novelette for “A Guide to the Fruits of Hawai’i,” which also appears in The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy (2015), guest edited by Joe Hill. Her debut YA novel, The Summer Prince, was longlisted for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. Her follow up YA novel, Love is the Drug, won the Andre Norton Award in 2015. A native of Washington, D.C., Johnson is currently based in Mexico City, where she received a masters degree in Mesoamerican studies and now plays in a bossa nova band.

Kate Elliott, author of Unconquerable Sun
Kate Elliott is the author of twenty-five fantasy and science fiction novels, including a YA fantasy trilogy (begun with Court of Fives), the acclaimed science fiction novel Jaran, and a short fiction collection, The Very Best of Kate Elliott. Born in Oregon, she now lives in Hawaii. You can find her online at kateelliott.com, imakeupworlds.com, Facebook, and @KateElliottSFF on Twitter.

Mary Robinette Kowal, author of The Relentless Moon
Mary Robinette Kowal, author of The Calculating Stars and The Fated Sky, is a professional puppeteer and voice actor who has performed for LazyTown (CBS), the Center for Puppetry Arts, and Jim Henson Pictures. Her design work has garnered two UNIMA-USA Citations of Excellence, the highest award an American puppeteer can achieve, and was the previous vice-president and secretary of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Mary is an accomplished storyreader and has recorded the audiobooks for most of her novels.

Ryan Van Loan, author of The Sin in the Steel
RYAN VAN LOAN served six years in the US Army Infantry, on the front lines of Afghanistan. He now works in healthcare innovation. The Sin in the Steel is his debut novel. Van Loan and his wife live in Pennsylvania.

Jenn Lyons, author of The Memory of Souls
Jenn Lyons lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband, three cats, and a nearly infinite number of opinions on anything from Sumerian mythology to the correct way to make a martini. Formerly a video game producer, she now spends her days writing fantasy. A long-time devotee of storytelling, she traces her geek roots back to playing first edition Dungeons & Dragons in grade school and reading her way from A to Z in the school's library.

Andrea Hairston, author of Master of Poisons
Andrea Hairston is a novelist, essayist, playwright, and the Artistic Director of Chrysalis Theatre. She is the author of Redwood and Wildfire, winner of the 2011 Tiptree Award and the Carl Brandon Kindred Award, and Mindscape, shortlisted for the Phillip K Dick and Tiptree Awards, and winner of the Carl Brandon Parallax Award. In her spare time, she is the Louise Wolff Kahn 1931 Professor of Theatre and Afro-American Studies at Smith College. She has received the International Association of the Fantastic in the Arts Distinguished Scholarship Award for outstanding contributions to the criticism of the fantastic. She bikes at night year-round, meeting bears, multi-legged creatures of light and breath, and the occasional shooting star.

Christopher Paolini, author of To Sleep in a Sea of Stars
Christopher Paolini was born in Southern California and has lived most of his life in Paradise Valley, Montana. He published his first novel, Eragon, in 2003 at the age of nineteen, and quickly became a publishing phenomenon. His Inheritence Cycle—Eragon and its three sequels—have sold nearly 40 million copies worldwide. To Sleep in a Sea of Stars is his first adult novel.

S.L. Huang, author of Burning Roses
S.L. Huang has a math degree from MIT and is a weapons expert and professional stuntwoman who has worked in Hollywood on Battlestar Galactica and a number of other productions. Huang's short fiction has appeared in Strange Horizons, Nature, Daily Science Fiction, and The Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy 2016. She is the author of Zero Sum Game, Null Set, and Critical Point.

Cory Doctorow, author of Attack Surface
CORY DOCTOROW is a regular contributor to The Guardian, Locus, and many other publications. His award-winning novel Little Brother was a New York Times bestseller, as is its sequel, Homeland. His novella collection Radicalized was a CBC Best Fiction of 2019 selection. He lives with his family in Los Angeles.

V.E. Schwab, author of The Invisible Life of Addie La Rue
VICTORIA “V.E.” SCHWAB is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than a dozen books, including the acclaimed Shades of Magic series, Villains series, This Savage Song, and Our Dark Duet. Her work has received critical acclaim, been featured in the New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, Washington Post and more, translated into more than a dozen languages, and has been optioned for television and film. When she’s not haunting Paris streets or trudging up English hillsides, she lives in Edinburgh, Scotland and is usually tucked in the corner of a coffee shop, dreaming up monsters.


About Tom Doherty Associates

Tom Doherty Associates (TDA)—better known by its imprint of Tor Books, is a New York-based publisher of hardcover, trade softcover and mass market books founded in 1980. Imprints include Tor Books; one of the leading publishers in science fiction, fantasy, and horror since 1980, Forge Books; committed to publishing quality thrillers, mysteries, historical fiction and general fiction, Tor Teen and Starscape; dedicated to publishing quality science fiction, fantasy and contemporary fiction for young readers, Tor.com Publishing; publishes original fiction, art, and commentary on fantasy, science fiction, and related subjects across all media by a wide range of writers from all corners of the field

About Tor Books
Tor Books, an imprint of Tom Doherty Associates, was founded in 1980 and committed to quality speculative literature. Between an extensive hardcover, trade softcover and mass market paperback line, a growing middle grade and YA list, and robust backlist program, Tor annually publishes what is arguably the largest and most diverse line of science fiction and fantasy produced by a single English-language publisher. Books from Tor have won every major award in the SF and fantasy fields, including Best Publisher in the Locus Poll for 31 years in a row.

About Tor.com Publishing
Tor.com publishes original fiction, art, and commentary on fantasy, science fiction, and related subjects across all media by a wide range of writers from all corners of the field—including professionals working in the genres as well as fans. In addition to the short fiction published free online, Tor.com also publishes novellas & the occasional novel. The aim of the site is to provoke, encourage, and enable interesting and rewarding conversations with and among our readers. Tor.com debuted online July 20, 2008 and currently reaches 3 million readers a month.

Interview with Rachel Harrison, author of The Return

Please welcome Rachel Harrison to The Qwillery as part of the 2020 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Return is published on March 24, 2020 by Berkley.

Please join The Qwillery in wishing Rachel a very Happy Publication Day!

The Qwillery: Welcome to The Qwillery. What is the first fiction piece you remember writing?

Rachel Harrison: One of my earliest memories is dictating a story to my mother before I could write myself, so I must have been pretty young. I have a very clear picture of where I was, but I don’t remember what the story was about. Willing to bet someone died, though. As a child author I was quite brutal. Excessive death. Maiming, too. Maiming was a staple of my early fiction.

TQAre you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

RH:  A hybrid! For The Return I had a solid outline, but I like to give myself some breathing room. Sometimes my characters intervene.

TQWhat is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

RH:  I love to write. I wish I had more time to write but writing itself is pure joy for me. I think the challenging part comes with putting your work out there. It’s really vulnerable and weird and wonderful and terrifying and exciting. It’s a lot to process, and in general I have a low threshold for the stresses of existence, so it’s been tricky for me to navigate this strange new reality.

TQWhat has influenced / influences your writing?

RH:  For The Return, I was influenced by The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson and The Shining by Stephen King, which is an entirely unsurprising answer as those are two of the best and most iconic horror novels of all time. But I was also really influenced by Truth & Beauty by Ann Patchett and Summer Sisters by Judy Blume. Those are my favorite books about female friendship. As far as the setting goes, The Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo was the inspiration for the Red Honey Inn, the hotel in the novel. I’ve never been, but I saw some pictures and was smitten. I hope to go someday!

TQDescribe The Return using only 5 words.

RH:  Careful. Keep your friends close.

TQTell us something about The Return that is not found in the book description.

RH:  This book is really a coming-of-age story. Everyone always talks about how hard it is to be a teenager, but you don’t magically have everything figured out when you hit twenty. Things get harder and more complicated, and you have to pay taxes. You want horror, let’s talk first trip to H&R block. What I’m getting at is, The Return explores some of the struggles of being in your twenties and trying, and sometimes failing, to figure out who you are, what you want out of life as an adult, and who’s going to stay with you on your journey.

TQWhat inspired you to write The Return? What appeals to you about writing horror?

RH:   I was inspired by my relationships with my friends and my experience in my twenties. On a bit of a deeper level, I’ve had two close friendships fall apart in my life. I never knew how to mourn those relationships. There’s a lot out there on getting over romantic breakups, but how are you supposed to cope when you lose a friend? I personally felt, and still feel, a lot of shame and confusion and sadness over the ends of those friendships, and writing this book was a way for me to parse out those feelings.

And everything about writing horror appeals to me. I love the genre so much it’s difficult for me to articulate an answer. My inner monologue is currently set to the tune of “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music, but instead of “raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens” it’s “ghosts in dark graveyards and monsters in closets.” The world is a frightening place. Writing horror is how I explore my fear, so it becomes less of a burden.

TQWhat sort of research did you do for The Return?

RH:  I researched characters, I researched locations, but it’s horror fiction, so a lot of it is imagination, heavily seasoned with personal experiences, anxieties, and traumas.

TQPlease tell us about the cover for The Return.

RH:  The cover is a hot pink masterpiece by Katie Anderson. All I’ll say about the cover is that it’s absolutely perfect and I’m obsessed with it.

TQIn The Return who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

RH:  Molly was probably the easiest to write because she’s self-assured, she knows exactly who she is. Also, we both have dirty sailor mouths. Julie was the hardest because she’s got a lot going on. She can be warm, but she’s not forthcoming. It was difficult for me to understand her at times because she doesn’t want to be understood. She enjoys being an enigma.

TQDoes The Return touch on any social issues?

RH:  I wanted to write a novel that felt honest about female friendship. My friends and I love and support each other, but in my opinion, no healthy long-term relationship is pure love and support, sunshine and rainbows, and that’s okay, it’s normal! It’s important that women allow each other to be flawed, to give each other room to make mistakes. Women are allowed to be fuck ups. We’re human! We can love and support each other and also be honest our feelings and experiences, even if they aren’t pretty. We should be able to fail and forgive each other. Fail and forgive ourselves.

TQWhich question about The Return do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

RH:  Hmm, this one is tough. Maybe, “Rachel, The Return is so brilliant and amazing, how did you write such an incredible book?” I’m kidding, I’m kidding. Though feel free to ask me that. I like to talk about my characters, especially the messy ones. I think I’d like to be asked about Elise, how I feel about her. It’d be a long answer.

TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from The Return.

RH:  “You can’t erase your past when there are pieces of it scattered inside other people.”

TQWhat's next?

RH:  I’m too superstitious to answer this question but follow me on Twitter for updates @rachfacelogic! *throws salt over shoulder*

TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

RH:  Thank you!

The Return
Berkley, March 24, 2020
Hardcover and eBook, 304 pages

A group of friends reunite after one of them has returned from a mysterious two-year disappearance in this edgy and haunting debut.

Julie is missing, and no one believes she will ever return—except Elise. Elise knows Julie better than anyone, and feels it in her bones that her best friend is out there and that one day Julie will come back. She’s right. Two years to the day that Julie went missing, she reappears with no memory of where she’s been or what happened to her.

Along with Molly and Mae, their two close friends from college, the women decide to reunite at a remote inn. But the second Elise sees Julie, she knows something is wrong—she’s emaciated, with sallow skin and odd appetites. And as the weekend unfurls, it becomes impossible to deny that the Julie who vanished two years ago is not the same Julie who came back. But then who—or what—is she?

About Rachel

Photo: © Nic Harris
Rachel Harrison was born and raised in the weird state of New Jersey. She received her bachelor’s in Writing for Film & Television from Emerson College. After graduating, she worked on TV game shows, in publishing, and for a big bank. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and their cat/overlord. This is her first novel.

Website ~ Twitter @rachfacelogic